Real meaning behind Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love before Pretty Woman remake

Roxette's It Must Have Been Love was one of the biggest power ballads of the nineties thanks to its starring role in romcom Pretty Woman.

The song was the backtrack to the iconic scene where lovable prostitute Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) is driven off in businessman Edward Lewis' (Richard Gere) limousine after a week of passion, leaving both broken-hearted.

But before it came to the attention of Hollywood film execs, the Swedish hit had a very different meaning.

It was actually released as a Christmas song in 1987 and came with the festive title, It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted).



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It peaked at number four in Sweden and featured a jingle-bell heavy intro and the lyric "It's a cold Christmas day," which would later be changed to "winter's day".

But when Disney/Touchstone Pictures asked bandmates Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson – who died on Monday – to come up with something, Listen to Your Heart was at the top of the charts and they didn't have enough time.

Enter It Must Have Been Love.

Director Gary Marshall loved the track so much that he decided to make it the key theme of the film, which was then titled 3,000 dollars.

Per told Billboard that Gary Marshall loved it so much that he re-edited the movie so the track could be used without any dialogue.

"Everything is going to circle around my song," he said at the time.

But first he had to tackle the Christmas feel,especially as Pretty Woman was scheduled for release in the summer of 1990.


In reworking it, Per kept most of Marie's orginal vocals but stripped out the jingly intro and outro.

The song – and the movie – went onto be a a runaway success, with It Must Have Been Love topping the US Hot 100 for two weeks that June.

"Nobody expected the movie to become such a smash and for us it was, of course, a jackpot," Per told Songwriter Universe in 2018.

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